Football circuit drill for 11 players

by Pablo M02nd Sep 2020

Drill created with Tactics Manager

Many football drills keep players waiting in line to get involved. This football circuit drill will keep all your first team moving.


You will need half of an actual football pitch, 6 cones, 2 mannequins (optional, you can use cones as an alternative) and 4 to 6 balls minimum. Set the circuit as shown in the picture below.

You can execute this drill with as few as 6 players, but try to involve all your starting players, including the goalkeeper. Use this drill as a link between your warm-up and a global training exercise.

Football circuit
Drill created with Tactics Manager


This football circuit drill is made up of 4 main phases: short passing, mid-range passing, sprint and shooting. The drill is a variation of an exercise used by Atletico Madrid, but we expanded it to involve every player in the team. You can see the original drill in the video below (the players in the video don’t look very motivated, your team surely can do better ), followed by our variation to the exercise.

Drill created with Tactics Manager

The progression is as follow:

  • 8 players wait in the stations to start as shown in the picture, two additional players wait outside with a ball each.
  • Player 1 passes the ball to 2.
  • Player 2 passes the ball back and runs to the first cone in the left.
  • Player 1 executes a mid-range pass to Player-3 who starts running towards the second cone (bottom left).
  • Player 5, 6 and 7 simultaneously execute the previous steps. The difference is that Player 7 next action after receiving the mid-range pass is to shoot at goal.
  • Player 4 move into Players 5 position to pass the ball to Player 5.
  • While the previous steps are executed, Player 8 shots at goals. The player must collect the ball after shooting. This fulfils two purposes: recover the ball and gain some time to allow Player 9 to join the circuit and everyone else to move into the next station.
  • Player 10 joins the circuit after Player 9 shoots at goal.
  • Continue moving players from station to station in a counterclockwise direction.

Final tips

Keep the intensity. Ask players to keep moving from station to station. Do not aim at getting a smooth transition between stations. Instead, focus on continuous movement as fast as possible. For example, if player 7 gets to the shooting station before Player 9 is ready to shoot, Player 9 should wait outside until there is a decent gap to shoot. After Player 10 is in, the progression should slowly improve, and nobody should wait in a station.

Do not wait for the goalkeeper to be ready. Just shoot. The idea is not only to keep moving but to force the keeper to have kick reactions. This will be useful in real scenarios where the goalie stops a shot, but the ball bounces straight to another striker.

This exercise will be messy the first time you execute it but will get better as players get the idea and rhythm. But, again, perfection is not the objective. Your main objective is to keep everyone moving.

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